Hornets big man Al Jefferson may be shut down for the remainder of the season due to the difficulties he has been experiencing with his balky right knee, Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer writes. Jefferson has had fluid drained from the joint three times in 10 days, Bonnell adds. “He’s dragging his leg around and then you compensate, opening himself up to further injury,” coach Steve Clifford said. “The guy literally couldn’t pivot and turn. I don’t know if he’ll play again. It’s just not fair to him.” It’s unclear if the injury will affect Jefferson’s thinking this summer regarding his player option worth $13.5MM.
Here’s more from the Southeast Division:
- The Magic should look for a coach with NBA experience rather than try to lure Billy Donovan to leave the college ranks once again, Brian Schmitz of The Orlando Sentinel opines. With Orlando at a critical juncture in its rebuilding plan, Schmitz believes to attract free agents the team will need a coach who commands immediate respect from veterans.
- Heat guard Mario Chalmers is extremely frustrated with his perceived lack of a defined role, Joseph Goodman of The Miami Herald writes. “I don’t even really know what my role is on this team anymore,” Chalmers said. “I don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing. A lot of people are out of rhythm, and you really don’t know what’s going to happen — when you’re going to get the ball, when you’re going to shoot it, you just never know. You just got to be ready for everything, I guess.” Chalmers still has one season worth $4.3MM remaining on his current contract.
- Lance Stephenson has not played in two of the Hornets‘ last three contests, something that baffles the mercurial swingman, Candace Buckner of The Indianapolis Star writes. “Definitely I’m surprised,” Stephenson said. “I feel like I can help this group but it’s out of my hands and I’m just [trying to] stay ready and stay focused. I’m very frustrated but it’s a part of life and it’s very humbling, but [I’m] just trying to stay focused and positive and whenever my number’s called, just be ready.”